Another Family Let Down
This weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving. I think it’s just like the USA Thanksgiving, just earlier.
In my mind, it’s a time for appreciation, for spending time with family, and for giving thanks.
Historically my parents host all the kids for a big lunch. We normally get together on Sunday, and a few times we have done our thanksgiving meal on Monday. So, a few weeks ago I called my Dad to tell him we have a commitment on Saturday with a friend visiting from another continent. But, we are otherwise available. I feel like it’s been a while since we’ve seen my family as we did Easter with friends. I really wanted to go so I thought it would be smart to let them know our schedule early. I thought I’d do this early as to not cause any problems.
Well, I wrong.
I was immediately told Saturday was the only day that would work for them and if we wanted to join we’d just make it work. Then my Dad proceeded to say a few rude things on a different subject which left me feeling even a bit more annoyed. In the end I said we’d try to move our Saturday commitment but I doubted it would be possible as it’s been scheduled for a few weeks around our historical thanksgiving plans and our friends travel plans.
I never followed up with my Dad, as there really wasn’t much more to say until they confirmed the time.
Well, they’ve confirmed the time, 12pm on Saturday. Which means our day would look like this:
- 8am – leave our home to drive
- 12pm – arrive at their home to each lunch and visit
- 2pm – leave their home to drive (assume we can get back out the door within 2 hours)
- 7pm – arrive at our home
So, this is smack dab in the middle of our planned visit with our friends. So, to do this would mean no visit with our friends.
We’ve talked with our friends, they just cannot reschedule their international trip because they are booked every single day with commitments with other friends and family. I’ve thought long and hard about the idea of going to my parents and then seeing our friends for a 9pm dinner, but honestly, nothing about that sounds like an enjoyable day. If we do that, I think it will just end up resulting in a very tired Mr. and Mrs. MPB who have stretched themselves too think and don’t enjoy any of the visits.
So, I’ve thought about what I really want to do that day. And honestly, I really don’t want to miss seeing our friends. These particular friends played a big part in our lives for a number of years, I’m truly excited to see them again and I don’t know when the next opportunity will arise. We aren’t planning any trips to China in the foreseeable future and he probably wont be back for a number of years either. .
So I made made my decision and we are skipping the family thanksgiving.
And I’m bitter about it.
First, I really wanted to go see my family! So I’m simply disappointed that we cannot make it work. At times my family upsets me, but I deeply love my nephews and I do enjoy the company of my siblings and parents.
Second, and probably more importantly, once again, my Dad has left me feeling as though I don’t matter. I politely told him our schedule and I was brushed off. I wonder why can’t he pick a time that would mean I could attend and maybe another sibling couldn’t? Why am I always the one who seems to get told what to do and expected to fall in line? Why doesn’t he even try to include us? Instead, here I am once again feeling like he planned a time that works for everyone else in the family and then simply command me to make it work. But that’s just not going to happen this time. Sorry, it just doesn’t work that way anymore, I’m not a kid anymore. And as an adult, who makes responsible adult decisions, I am choosing who to spend the day with. And I am upholding my first commitment, to our friends.
Third, I want our future child to know their extended family and these types of family holidays. I want them to know both their biological family (if it’s appropriate depending on the circumstances of the adoption) and their adopted family. (I hate to differentiate with the word adopted family, but I don’t know how else to explain that in this context). But honestly, if our family wont even make an effort when it’s just Mr. MPB and I, what the heck is the point? I want our child to feel loved and cared for, and yet I worry that if I’m the second class child/sibling, then how the heck will they treat our child? It breaks my heart to even think about it.
So this thanksgiving, instead of being thankful for my extended family, I’m feeling bitter and a bit resentful towards them. Not exactly what I had in mind.
But, Mr. MPB has decided not to let me mope around all weekend and he picked up stuff to prepare our own thanksgiving dinner this year and we’ll have a feast at home. And, I will remind myself to be thankful for the opportunity to spend time with great friends for whom I am eternally grateful to have in my life!
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